Once you confuse attraction with real love, you can rest assured that you are going to get hit with the arrow of unrealistic expectations. You see, most people buy into the myth that if two people are really meant to be together, then everything will sort of just click. It will just fall into place. It will be effortless, almost magical. The problem is that if you believe that when you come to the first bump in the road in your relationship, then you start wondering, what’s wrong? Why is this so hard? It’s in the marriage relationship when you start thinking; maybe I married the wrong person. It’s in the friendship where you start drifting apart at the first sign of disagreements. Whenever you are hit by the arrow of unrealistic expectations, you are paralyzed from doing the work and putting in the effort and energy and creativity that you need to build a rich and rewarding relationship that lasts the test of time. Once you get hit by the arrow of unrealistic expectations, then you can be sure there is a series of arrows that are about to come your way.
The next one is the arrow of unmet needs because many people accept the myth that if you are really in love, then you will naturally know what the other person’s needs are and how to meet them. Everything will just flow. It will just come naturally to you. In marriages, most of us try to meet our spouses needs based on what we know our needs to be. Many times, parents love their kids based on how they want to be loved and encourage their kids based on what encourages them. You think you are doing great, and you think you are meeting their needs, but you’re not. Which leads to the arrow of harmful words. You hit a nerve when you don’t meet someone’s needs, and they get frustrated, and this is when you start shooting arrows back and forth at each other. Those arrows of insult, arrows of criticism, arrows of cut downs, those arrows of harmful words and those arrows of harmful actions, out of frustration because of unmet needs. And as that begins to happen, the next arrow comes our way, and it’s really a poison arrow. It’s an arrow that if you don’t pull it out right away, it poisons the whole relationship. The arrow of bitter feelings. You see, if you don’t pull the arrow of bitter feelings out right away through forgiveness, then it poisons the whole relationship, and it really deadens the relationship.
And then the last and the most dangerous arrow comes our way, and it’s the arrow of total apathy. It’s when you are just going through the motions in a relationship. You are just dead to the other person. There are no feelings. You are just plowing through, going through the motions, and you think you married the wrong person. You think you’re in a relationship with the wrong person. It’s the wrong person. That’s the problem. No, you just have a wrong concept of what real love is. It’s just because, at first, you confused attraction with real love, and it set you on a path that leads to destruction in relationships. Rest assured, those arrows will come one after the other when you confuse real love with attraction. When you don’t understand what it’s all about.
How can you make sure you are not confusing attraction with real love? When in doubt, refer to 1 Peter 4:8. It says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”